Minister comments on 2016-17 widening access statistics
Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Funding Council’s Report on Widening Access 2016-17, Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“These figures are a stark reminder of why this Government was right to take the action we did on widening access.
“They show that in the four years up to 2016-17 nothing had changed and, on their own, universities were not making improvement in increasing the percentage of students from the 20% most deprived areas.
“The Commission on Widening Access reported in March 2016, by which time the vast majority of students had already applied for the 2016-17 academic year. So these figures provide a baseline from which to judge how successfully the Commission’s recommendations will be implemented – at a national level but also at an individual institution level.
“More recent figures from UCAS show a 13% increase in the number of Scots from disadvantaged areas getting a place to study at a Scottish university in 2017-18. So we expect to see demonstrable progress next year and beyond.”
- The Scottish Funding Council report on Widening Access 2016-17 can be viewed on the Scottish Funding Council website. http://www.sfc.ac.uk/publications-statistics/statistical-publications/statistical-publications-2018/SFCST062018.aspx
- The data shows that, in 2016-17, 13.8% of full-time first degree entrants were from SIMD20. For all Higher Education entrants (including sub-degree and college), 17.7% are from SIMD 20.
- The Commission on Widening Access target, accepted by the Scottish Government is, by 2030, students from the 20% most deprived backgrounds should represent 20% of entrants to higher education, with equality of access seen in both the college and university sector.
- To drive forward progress to the 2030 goal the interim targets are:
– 16% of full-time first degree entrants to Scottish universities from the 20% most deprived areas (SIMD20) by 2021;
– 18% of full-time first degree entrants to Scottish universities from the 20% most deprived areas (SIMD20) by 2026;
– By 2021, an individual institutional target for universities of 10%.
- The Commission’s final report was published in March 2016. The main UCAS deadline for the 2016-17 academic year was January 2016.
- The UCAS 2017 End of Cycle report (published December/January) showed a 13% increase in the number of Scots from the most deprived communities getting places to study at a Scottish university in 2017 (4,565 in 2016 to 5,170 in 2017).